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In Love and War by Phoenix Quill
Chapter 12: Prophecies
Once again, sorry! Seriously, I think you'll hate me for this, but it was needed. Sorry!
I managed to fall asleep that night without any disturbing dreams of Evelyn and James snogging. In the morning, I decided I should actually catch up with Ricky, in case some angry letters came demanding to know how he was.
Because the lazy bugger couldn't write himself. Even though he had access to all the materials.
Hell, I'd even lend him Shriek, but his ugly mug might just kill the poor bird.
Dammit, I was procrastinating. Just get dressed and go see your sadist brother.
I groaned at the voice of reason in my head, which sounded suspiciously like Kaitlin, and grabbed out a pair of jeans and a green tank top.
Don't judge me for only wearing my house's colours. They look best on me.
I really can't see myself wearing yellow, can you?
Oh, just get a move on! said Mini Kaitlin in my head. I grumbled at it and slid on the clothes, grabbing a pair of shoes. I walked into the common room, and was about to enter the boy's dorm when Scorpius grabbed my arm.
"Taylor, we need to talk." I pulled my arm away.
"Okay, but not now. Maybe, um, around lunch in the kitchens?" He nodded slightly, which I took as a reluctant yes, and walked away. I looked around to make sure no one had seen the strange exchange, and when I was satisfied, I entered the Land of Smelly Socks and Smellier Boys.
Seriously, it's like a toxic wasteland in there, but ten times worse. And I was pretty sure someone had sacrificed a cat down here and left its body to rot in a pile of food scraps and toxic boy-sweat.
I was not overreacting. You could barely breath.
I finally made it to Ricky's room and knocked on the door. A strange boy answered it. He was a little cute, in a gangly way. Although, in a year or two, with those blue eyes and blond hair, he could be a heartbreaker.
Just not with bed head and sleepy eyes.
"Who are you?" I raised a brow.
"I'm the esteemed Beater of this lovely Quidditch team my darling brother just had the amazing amount of luck to enter. He's the one still buried in his sheets, over there." He was only identifiable due to the curly hair and the poster of one of the Chasers in the Falmouth Falcons that hung over his bed.
It was one of the girl ones, and she was very scantly clothed. Like, skimpy top and short shorts. Maybe he...no, I was not going there. This was my brother I was talking about.
The boy gulped and let me in. I stepped through, feeling very elegant, and turned back to the boy.
"What is your name, anyway?"
He gulped again. I wasn't Medusa, for Merlin's sake. "Um, Tim Ryan. You wouldn't know me."
Hmm. He was a Muggleborn. If not, he was probably a halfblood or from some family I'd never heard of. Probably the first two options.
"Well, Tim, I need to have a private conversation with my brother. So please leave. Once you get some clothes on, of course."
That was when he realised he was only wearing boxers. Tim blushed and ran over to his wardrobe, pulling out sweatpants and a grimy grey top. Why did boys never have clean clothes?
He got dressed in a remarkably short amount of time and bolted as if Voldemort and all of his Death Eaters were behind him. Fifth-years were so easy to scare.
Although, I guess I was kind of scary, you know, just with my personality.
I looked over at my brother, who was still asleep, and grinned. I snuck over and sat down on the side of his bed.
"Ricky, oh Ricky, wake up. I want to have a little chat with you." He stirred and groaned.
"Go 'way, Tim. It's Sunday, for Merlin's sake." He rolled over and buried his face in the pillow. I put a hand on his shoulder.
"Wake up Ricky, I want to talk to you." He rolled back over and cracked open an eyelid.
"Oh hey, Taylor, what are you...holy shit! Taylor!" He sat up and put his doona over his chest, breathing heavily.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" He shot a glance at the Quidditch player poster, clearly hoping I hadn't seen it. Well, too late for that, brother dear.
"Too late, I spotted the inappropriate poster. Which I am about to change to something I deem much more suitable." I waved my wand, and the poster turned into a large poster of a Muggle cartoon, a cute little white cat dressed in a pink dress and a bow on her ear.
"Hey! Why'd you do that? Change it back!" I grinned and put my wand back into my pocket. "Not until I leave. You and I need to have a little chat."
He actually gulped. "If this is about you losing some Galleons, I promise you I'll repay you soon." I raised a brow.
"That was you, was it? That's not what this is about, but thanks for telling me about it." He cursed under his breath.
"Tut tut, little brother. That might go into my letter to Daddy dearest. Now, tell me, what has your week been like?" Ricky launched into a spiel about what had happened, including his tryouts (which I had been there for, so I can most definitely deny that he did a quadruple backflip before getting five consecutive goals). I committed important notes to memory and zoned out when he started making absolutely no sense. Finally, he stopped talking and I stood up.
"Okay, have to go and write to Dad, so goodbye." I walked out, ignoring him shouting about the poster. He was a sadistic bastard, so there was no way I was changing the poster back.
I haven't mentioned why he's a sadist, have I? Here's a little story from way back when I was in second year...
I was just sitting alone on the benches at the Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff game, watching Hufflepuff get flogged, when Ricky and his mates had walked over. He'd stood in front of me, blocking my view.
"Hey Richard, can you move?" He'd purposely stood right in front of me, making sure all I could see was him.
"Don't call me Richard. My name is Ricky." His friends had laughed. I'd rolled my eyes at him.
"What are you gonna do, Richard? Flick me?" He'd grinned evilly and grabbed my arm with one hand, forcing my head back with the other one.
"No, I'm going to do this." And then he twisted my arm behind my back. I heard a cracking sound and a bolt of pain shot up my arm. I screamed. Ricky grinned even more and continued twisting my arm. Finally, he'd let me go and ran away with his friends, laughing madly. I'd sat there gasping in pain until someone found me. That someone was Scorpius. He'd taken me to the hospital wing, where Madam Pomfrey, who was pretty old by now, had announced I had broken my arm in two different places. I'd told her I tripped. Scorpius wasn't convinced, and got the full story out of me soon enough.
That was when I'd realised Ricky was a bad egg. I'd seen him roasting ants before, but now I knew that wasn't fascination with making the glass shoot out boiling beams. It was wanting to hurt something. I couldn't tell Dad, because he doted on Ricky and was sure he was an angel in a human guise. I didn't want to ruin that illusion, but one day, Ricky would seriously hurt someone.
I went back to my room and wrote the goddamn letter, then walked all the way to the Owlery. Shriek flew down to me when I entered, fluffing up his pathetic feathers. I tied the letter to his leg, because he couldn't hold it in his mouth without dropping it and rubbed his head.
"Give this to Dad, okay? Make sure you rest up at home." He hooted and flapped off unsteadily. He was a lousy flyer, but a good pet.
Okay, so now what? I didn't want to go see Scorpius, and I couldn't see Sarah or Evelyn at the moment, due to Sarah being with Jason and Evelyn being...well, I didn't know where she was. I thought for a moment, and even before I made my mind up, my feet were taking me to the kitchens.
Don't judge me for always going there. I like it down there.
It was ten o'clock when I got to the kitchens. Winky was standing in the doorway when I got there.
"Hello. Would Taylor like Winky to get anything?" I smiled at the old house-elf.
"Just a Butterbeer and a chocolate cookie, thanks." Winky bowed and walked away. I sat down at the table and looked around. All the house-elfs were busily working away, making food for lunch. The atmosphere was like being in a beehive, with everyone buzzing around you doing jobs.
I heard a crash. I stood up and looked over in the general direction and saw...No. I ran over and knelt by her. No. No.
Winky coughed and put a hand to her chest. "Taylor, Winky is very sorry."
"Winky, are you hurt? Do you need to go to Madam Pomfrey?" She laughed hoarsely and looked weakly at the shards of glass around her.
"No, Winky was not hurt by the glass. But...I am afraid that Winky might be dying." I gasped and clutched her hand.
"No! You can't die! Why are you dying?" Winky coughed and looked up at me.
"Well, when Winky was younger, she made mistakes, and now Winky is suffering for them. Don't worry, Winky has had a long life." I blinked away a tear.
"Winky, you can't die. I'll take you to the hospital wing, to St. Mungo's. You can get treated, and you'll live. Please, Winky, you have to live!" She smiled sadly at me and rested her head on the floor.
"No, Taylor. This is Winky's time. Goodbye, Taylor. Just remember, Winky always thought you were the best Slytherin she'd ever met..." Winky broke off and started coughing. I clutched her hand tightly.
"No! Winky, don't die! You have to stay here! Don't die..." She smiled one last time at me before her eyes glazed over. Her hand loosened and dropped from mine, lying next to her.
I sat next to her, weeping. I'd known Winky since first-year, when I'd first visited the kitchens. She'd helped me get through the awkward times, held my hand as I broke up with my first boyfriend, been there as Albus terrorised me, sat near me in the awkward lunch with Scorpius. She was like an anchor, helping me get through. What could I ever do without her?
It wasn't true.
It. Wasn't. True.
I started shaking her, tears streaming down my face. "Winky! Get up, you bitch! You're not dead! Get up!" She remained lying down, and that was when it hit me. She was really dead.
No, no, no!
I put her hand in mine, crying. She was gone. Who would I confide in now? Who would help me when I was depressed?
I was there for who knows how long, weeping over her body. House-elfs came over, trying to comfort me, but I screamed at all of them, making them run away. I lay down next to her body, still crying. Finally, when the tears dried up, a familiar face was staring down at me.
"Go away, Scorpius. I need to be left alone with her." Another tear welled up in the corner of my eye. He sat down next to me and wiped it away.
"I knew her too. She always knew exactly what I wanted, every time I came in here. She was the first person I told about liking you." He stroked her forehead, chin quivering. Before I knew it, I was crying too. Scorpius put his arms around me, whispering soothingly into my ear as I shook with sobs.
I cried for a good fifteen minutes before the tears stopped coming. I looked up at Scorpius and kissed him. He kissed me back, softly and sweetly, for a few moments.
"Scorpius, I'm sorry for not telling you anything. I won't ever keep secrets from you again." He smiled and brushed away a stray lock of hair that had stuck to my cheek.
"It's okay, Taylor. I just want to know one thing. What secrets have you been keeping from me since school started?" I sighed and looked down into Winky's glazed eyes. I slid her eyelids down, but not before realising what her eyes were telling me. I had to be honest with him.
"Well, we have to start a fair bit back for that. For starters, I'm a Parselmouth." He blinked but made no comment, making a continue-speaking gesture. I took a deep breath and began my story.
Scorpius listened to the whole story, not interrupting once. When I had finished, he held me in his arms. I let myself relax, breathing in his familiar scent. The house-elfs had taken away Winky's body by now, promising she would be given a proper funeral in the house-elf way.
I had stopped crying. My eyes had used all their tears. Now I was just left with bone-numbing sorrow.
Somehow, I ended up sitting on Scorpius' lap, head on his shoulder with his arms around me. He was brushing my hair back from my face and rubbing my back soothingly. I looked up at him, extremely aware that my eyes were red and my nose was red and my hair was a mess. Oh, and I had eyeliner tracks down my face.
"I'm sorry for being a crap girlfriend. I don't want to keep us a secret anymore." Scorpius smiled at me.
"Okay. Let's go tell everyone." I stood up and paused for a second.
"Wait! I have to fix my makeup and hair!" Scorpius laughed and put his arm around my shoulders.
"Taylor, you look fine the way you are. Besides, we can stop by the first-floor bathroom on the way." I grinned at him.
"Well, we better get moving. It won't be long before these smudges become permanent." He laughed and kissed my forehead as we started walking towards the bathroom.
I was busy putting my hair into a loose ponytail while Scorpius waited outside. I put on a fresh coat of lip gloss, air-kissed the mirror. Scorpius knocked on the door.
"Are you ready yet, woman?" I laughed, pulling out my eyeliner.
"Nowhere near, Scorpius. You may be waiting a while." Scorpius sighed loudly.
"For Merlin's sake, it's already five, woman. If you take any longer, I will march in there and fling you over my shoulder." I laughed and finished off my eyeliner.
"No point now, Scorp, I'm finished. I'll be out in a second." I washed my hands and packed all the makeup into my little bag I'd summoned from my room. Thank Merlin for the Accio Charm.
I stepped out of the bathroom and into Scorpius' chest. He grunted and stepped backwards, rubbing his stomach.
"Geez, Taylor, that actually hurt a fair bit, you know!" I grinned up at him and mock-slapped his arm.
"Oh, suck it up, manly Quidditch Captain, or they might take away your Manliness badge." He made a face at me and started walking off. I ran a little to keep up, and soon we were in the dungeons, in front of the entrance. Scorpius looked at me.
"Taylor, how exactly do we tell them? I have absolutely no idea what to say, and they're all going to think I'm mad, because I'm going to ramble and then they'll not understand at all and - " I held up a finger to his lips, silencing him. When I was sure he'd keep his silence, I removed the finger.
"You were rambling then. As for how to tell them...well, in my opinion, actions speak louder than words." Scorpius opened his mouth, but then he realised what I was saying. He coughed and nodded. We linked arms and walked in to the common room.
Sarah and Jason were sitting on the couch, with their hands on her baby bump. Evelyn was chilling out in the back with...James? Okay, should have been expecting that one. Hang on, who was that next to James, in the back corner? Oh fuck.
I almost thought about not doing it, but then I looked at Scorpius, and I knew I just had to.
I looked straight into his eyes, which were the colour of sunlight silver, and snogged him full on the mouth.
Sarah must have seen, because she shrieked, and then I felt everyone's eyes on us. We finished the kiss and looked around. Everyone there was staring at us. I took a deep breath.
"I'm going out with Scorpius."
Sarah and Evelyn ran over and hugged me. I hugged them back fiercely, trying not to bump Sarah's stomach. Jason and James fistbumped Scorpius, but I could tell they were warning him not to hurt me. Only one person didn't walk over to congratulate, or to warn Scorpius not to do anything to my heart.
I tried not to look as Albus walked out of the common room, looking utterly devastated.
As I walked out of the common room, leaving Scorpius to talk with James, I saw Albus leaning against a wall. I walked over and stood in front of him. He sighed and looked down.
"Let me guess...this is why you never even considered me for all those years. You've liked him." I looked straight at him, but I couldn't see his face.
"Look, Albus, I only started liking him two years ago, and let's be honest, I don't think you really have any chance with me after the whole X episode. So just...please accept this and move on? For my sake?" Albus looked straight up at me, his eyes hard.
"No, I can't move on. I still like you. I could like you for the rest of my life. I'm not going to give up, and I sure as hell won't move on in a hurry." He took in a deep breath and started to walk away, but just before he turned the corner, he looked back at me.
"One day, he won't be there for you...but I will be. I'll wait as long as I humanely can for that moment." I watched him walk around the corner and sighed slumping against the wall.
This was not going to end well.
NO! I hated this chapter, mostly because I love Winky and I think Albus is kinda cute. In a dorky way. So, I'm so sorry, and I'm probably suffering the most here, because I had to write this. I almost cried when Winky died, which believe me is odd. I hardly ever cry, and I may not have tear ducts.
Review please, try to keep hate to a minimum, and love you for staying with this story!
Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D
P.S. Is it weird that I think Ricky is cute? Like in a want to date way?